Nutritionists and Anorexia
Some nutritionists specialize in working with patients with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa (AN). AN is a psychiatric disorder characterized by the individual refusing to eat a sufficient amount of food for proper nourishment. As a result, individuals with AN may be very thin and have an obsessive fear of gaining weight.
Individuals with AN typically have a distorted self image, believing that even if they are very thin, the food they eat will make them fat. AN is a serious mental illness. Other health problems accompany the disorder. AN has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.
Nutritionists can play a big role in changing the lives of individuals with AN. They can help design a proper nutrition plan for AN sufferers that meets their dietary needs bringing the patient back to a healthy weight. Nutritionist also have expertise in dietary supplements such as zinc, which has been shown to be beneficial for patients with AN.
Nutritionists also counsel patients with AN. They may take their dietary history, review the patient’s medical history, and psychosocial history. Nutritionist work in conjunction with physicians and other health care providers to help treat the AN patient.
Thousands of Americans suffer from anorexia nervosa, largely young adolescent women. Females between the ages of 15 and 19 make up about 40% of all cases. Fortunately, the outcome for most patients is good. Nutritionists play a big role in helping AN patients overcome the disorder and live long healthy lives.